“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. . .Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 5:20; 6:1-2).
Of the five “most followed” Twitter feeds, four are musical artists, and one the President of the United States. They send out messages in the form of “tweets, using no more than 140 characters to each tweet. While they may send out an important message from time to time, they do not begin to compare with the life-giving message we have in Christ. We proclaim an urgent message, one of hope and of warning.
If we could find a word to describe our cultural attitude today, it might be “flippant.” People say, “Take it easy” “Don’t be in a hurry,” or, “There’s no reason to sweat.” One of Satan’s chief tactics is to assure people that they have plenty of time to turn to God. But in the passage above, God reminds us that “today” is the day of salvation. During this age, God calls us to proclaim the gospel far and wide, and to do so now. We don’t know when Jesus will return.
He also compels us to proclaim it urgently, because the message is crucial to one’s eternal destiny. Some churches conduct church services to make people feel good, but how we convey our message can make all the difference. Do we give people the impression that our message can be ignored without loss? Do people sense that we speak with love and an earnest appeal? The Apostle Paul “implored” his hearers to be reconciled. We need to reconsider how crucial our message is.
This is not a time for laid-back approaches, or take-it-or-leave-it attitudes. We need to earnestly pray for people to come to Christ and also speak as if our message was of dire importance. Listen to the Apostle Paul speak about his message:
“. . .that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:2-3).
Paul considered the both the blessing of salvation but also the horror of dying without Christ. He did not proclaim the gospel as if he were expressing opinions in a chat room. He knew he carried both a hopeful and somber message. That’s why he would remark, “Who is sufficient for these things” (2 Corinthians 2:16).
1. Ponder the meaning “salvation.”
Salvation includes the forgiveness of sins, a changed heart, and a place in heaven one day. What a great message to share. The more we meditate on the power and meaning of the gospel, the more we will want to share it.
2. Ask God to give a sense of urgency to the message that we proclaim.
If we share the gospel as we would the weather, we communicate a message that lacks urgency. People will walk away sensing that it’s not too important at all.
3. Pray for spiritual sensitivity and for opportunities to share Christ with others.
Posted on Fri, March 18, 2016
by Sam Petitfils